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Constantine Bouras

Constantine Bouras is co-curator of the "A Shelter for Architecture" event presented by the Greek Institute of Architects in New York (GIANY) at the Consulate General of Greece in New York. The event included architectural exhibitions and installations, talks and presentations as well as artistic performances. Constantine Bouras conceived, curated and organized the "A Shelter for Architecture" event in collaboration with Electra Kontoroupi, Ioannis Oikonomou, Foteinos Soulos, Dimitra Tsachrelia and Evita Fanou.

Over the course of the event the notion of "shelter" was explored. Shelter is a basic human need and is interwoven with the concept of protection: protection of the human body, of emotions, identity, culture, religion or an idea. Cities like New York have become shelters for millions of migrants. Even today they continue to attract modern economic migrants who seek out shelter in an age where the notions of security and protection have become more vital than ever.

At a time when migrants cross the Mediterranean in boats in an effort to find security, the notion of shelter is hot news again. Shelter could be potentially any expression of architecture, as architecture embodies above all a primitive necessity for protecting and receiving. Architecture evolved from the practical need of a dwelling space to the emotional haven of a weekend house, from the minimum inhabitation footprint of emergency housing to the museum as a sanctuary for the arts. In historical terms, the notion of shelter is bound up with architecture and has been pivotal in the work of each and every architect.

During the event the Consulate was transformed into a shelter for architecture and a platform for sharing ideas among architects, academics from various disciplines and the public. The three major components of the event were: DIALOGUES, COCOON and TECTONICS.

The interdisciplinary DIALOGUES event included talks by architects, engineers, artists, choreographers, scientists, psychologists and other professionals.

The COCOON artist event presented the results of an open call for ideas that re-examined the notion of shelter as a minimal habitat. The competition sought to view shelter as a minimum habitat, to enrich and expand the notion of the boundary between the human body and the environment. Participants were asked to explore the typology of archetypal "shells" and to re-examine habitats as a "cocoon" or "second skin".

The TECTONICS exhibition presented the architectural work of Greek architects working in New York: architectural drawings and photographs of finished works, construction details, 3D renderings, and research topics. Tectonics [from the Greek "τεκτονικός", - pertaining to building] refer to the art and science of construction.

As part of the "A Shelter for Architecture" event, an installation entitled COMMONPLACE, based on an artistic performance, was also presented.

Constantine Bouras is an architect and urban planner. He holds a Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he studied on a scholarship from the Onassis Foundation and the Greek State Scholarship Foundation. He studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens, where is currently doing his PhD. He has worked in architectural firms in Athens, Milan and New York and as a research assistant at the Public Space Authority of Mexico City. He teaches Architecture and Urban Design along with Marion Weiss at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Architecture and is editor of the book entitled Evolutionary Infrastructure (2012).

His work has been exhibited in Athens, New York and at the Toyo Ito Museum in Japan. He is co-founder and co-director of the Greek Institute of Architects in New York (GIANY) curating architectural events (exhibitions, installations and lectures). GIANY was founded in 2013 to bring Greek architects who live and work in New York closer together. Through its events GIANY plays a key role in the Greek architectural community of New York, serving as a platform where ideas can be shared, and as a vehicle for showcasing and supporting the work of Greek architects in the US and in Greece.